Emerging artists take over Plymouth College of Art in E L E V E N


Emerging artists on first year degree programmes at Plymouth College of Art have curated their first exhibition which took place at Plymouth Arts Centre on Looe Street.

The project, entitled E L E V E N, involved a team of 11 students getting to grips with curatorial strategy as they planned the exhibition from start to finish in a timeframe of just 11 weeks.

The students’ work represented a range of disciplines including Fine Art, Photography, Illustration and Applied Arts such as glass, ceramics and metal work. All the work was brought together under the central theme of ‘time’, which was primarily a response to the curatorial framework within the British Art Show 7.

The opening evening at Plymouth Arts Centre was packed with around 100 visitors, representing a fantastic opportunity for the students to talk about their work and network with other creative practitioners. Their work was then exhibited for a further five days with students taking it in turns to invigilate.

Plymouth College of Art Lecturer Maddy Pethick is immensely proud of her students and. She told ArtsCulture: “The students were really buzzing with their success at the opening evening and with so many visitors there was a vibrant and exciting atmosphere.”

Throughout the project students were able to develop their skills of collaboration, compromise and marketing whilst gaining a greater understanding of the hard work that goes in to putting on an exhibition.

Maddy said: “The students have successfully built links and tapped into the creative ecology of Plymouth, which is of huge significance.”

Caroline Mawdsley, education and outreach Curator at Plymouth Arts Centre, enjoyed the opportunity to work collaboratively with Plymouth College of Art students. She helped the students see the project through saying: “11 weeks ago the students began by mapping out their fantasy project and some of the students managed to achieve this. Even though several students were displaying their own individual work, the whole group pulled together to operate as a team, each bringing their own unique skills to the project.”

The students exhibited their work alongside other artists working in the UK, Canada and Netherlands (as curated by one of the students) and throughout the project the students were in dialogue with Project Space 11, CCANW, Take a Part and U:1. One student created a catalogue of all the students’ work in the form of a ‘zine’ while another student focused his work around the memories of people who remember the old Plymouth Zoo.

There is still the chance to see the fantastic work of these students at the Plymouth College of Art Summer Show. This is taking place at the main college site at Tavistock Place from June 20 to June 29. Weekday opening times are 9am to 8:30pm and on Saturday the show will be open from 9am to 4.30pm. Admission is free and more information can be found at www.plymouthart.ac.uk/Summershows